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I interviewed onsite with a company early last week. The total number of rounds were 2 Phone + 5 onsite.

I got an email reply to my "Thank you" mail saying I could expect to hear back from them regarding the next steps this week. I initially took this line to be something positive.

But having not heard from them this week, it looks like talking about "next steps" is just a generic phrase. It could go either ways.

What does "next step" actually mean for recruiters?

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You should not take talk about 'next steps' as necessarily a positive sign. The truth is that the person responding to your 'thank you' email probably doesn't know, at that minute, whether you passed the interview. If they did they would have told you.

On the other hand not having heard back in a week does not necessarily mean you have not passed. It may simply mean they have not decided, or not made arrangements yet.

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    Also, the "next step" could be rejecting your application. – Eric Feb 7 '15 at 20:54

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